Leonardo booked an order in July for six M-346FA light fighter/attack aircraft, Leonardo SpA CEO Alessandro Profumo revealed during a press conference following the publication of the company’s 2019 first-half results on July 30.
He declined to reveal the air force’s identity, noting only that it is a “major international customer.” He also said that the first export order for the M-345 basic/advanced trainer would be revealed later in the year.
Unveiled at the 2017 Paris Air Show, the M-346FA is based on the airframe of the M-346 advanced jet trainer that has been sold to Italy (designated T-346A), Israel (where it is known as the Lavi), Poland, and Singapore. It is a further evolution of the M-346FT (fighter trainer) with more weapons capability and tactical datalink added to the baseline version.
Retaining a full advanced/lead-in fighter trainer capability, the FA variant has significantly enhanced combat capability thanks to a Leonardo Grifo-346 multi-mode radar and IFF (identification friend or foe) equipment. Among the radar’s capabilities are synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and Inverse SAR for surface target identification. In track-while-scan mode, it can track up to 10 aerial targets simultaneously. Maximum range is greater than 50 nm (92 km). (end of excerpt)
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